SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 21, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, successfully propelled the fifth Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF military navigation satellite into orbit today. The GPS IIF-5 satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida by a United Launch Alliance Delta IV medium rocket. Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion included an RS-68 booster engine, an RL10B-2 upper-stage engine and multiple spacecraft attitude control thrusters.
"The combination of propulsion systems on the Delta IV is truly impressive, and represents our ability to accurately and reliably position the nation's most elite payloads into orbit," said Steve Bouley, vice president of Space Launch Systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne. "It's extremely rewarding for all of us here at Aerojet Rocketdyne to know we are contributing to the safety of our troops at home and overseas."
During launch, the rocket was boosted off the pad by the RS-68 engine, with 758,000 pounds of vacuum thrust and 663,000 pounds of sea-level thrust.
A single RL10B-2 engine delivers 24,750 pounds of thrust to power the upper stage, powered by cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants. For more than 50 years, the RL10 has been one of the United States' most reliable upper-stage engines, accumulating one of the most impressive lists of accomplishments in the history of space propulsion. It has played an integral role in placing numerous military, government and commercial satellites into orbit, and powering space-probe missions to nearly every planet in the solar system.
Twelve Aerojet Rocketdyne monopropellant (hydrazine) thrusters in four modules on the Delta IV upper stage provided roll, pitch and yaw control as well as settling burns for the upper stage main engine.
The GPS satellite, built by The Boeing Company in El Segundo, Calif., includes a pair of Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems which will be used periodically to restore the satellites to their designated orbits and to eventually decommission them.
The IIFs are designed to improve navigational accuracy for civil, commercial and defense applications worldwide. They feature more capability and improved mission performance, including predicted signal accuracy that is two times greater than heritage satellites; a 12-year lifespan that provides longer service and reduced operating costs; and a military signal that has better resistance to jamming in hostile conflict areas.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. GenCorp is a diversified company that provides innovative solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense, and real estate markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies' websites at www.Rocket.com and www.GenCorp.com.